Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Review: Murder Takes a Turn by Eric Brown

Murder Takes a Turn (Langham and Dupre Mystery, Book #5)
by Eric Brown
Release Date: July 1st 2018
2018 Severn House Publishers
Kindle Edition; 208 Pages
ISBN: 978-0727887818
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Historical
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

When Langham's literary agent receives a cryptic letter inviting him to spend the weekend at the grand Cornish home of successful novelist Denbigh Connaught, Charles Elder seems reluctant to attend. What really happened between Elder and Connaught during the summer of 1917, nearly forty years before - and why has it had such a devastating effect on Charles?

Accompanying his agent to Connaught House, Langham and his wife Maria discover that Charles is not the only one to have received a letter. But why has Denbigh Connaught gathered together a group of people who each bear him a grudge?

When a body is discovered in Connaught's study, the ensuing investigation uncovers dark secrets that haunt the past of each and every guest - including Charles Elder himself ...

My Thoughts
Murder Takes a Turn is the fifth book in the Langham and Dupre mystery series and while I enjoyed the characters, I did think the mystery was a bit slow and very easy to figure out, although I have to say I did miss out on the method even if it was staring me in the face.  And although Denbigh Connaught was meant to be a real jerk, it was so obvious who was going to be killed that that kind of expectation you get when reading such a novel was just lacking.  All I did was wait until it actually happened, and it took such a long time to get there.

The premise was definitely something that would catch my eye though, even if it has been done before: gather together a bunch of people that you have wronged in the past with the intention of apologizing and watch the sparks fly.  Throw in a mansion, some friction, some secrets, and money, and you've now set yourself up for a dandy murder mystery.  All stuff I love.   The characters were interesting in their own way and I definitely loved the quirkiness of their personalities and how they were presented.  I was kind of hoping the murderer would be someone else than I thought it was as it would have been so much more interesting, but unfortunately, the author went with the usual formula and it was quite easy to figure out who it was.  What I couldn't figure out was how the person did it. And when I did find out, I had to wonder what kind of sick person that was who would do such a thing. I mean, Denbigh was a bit of a jerk, even if I didn't really get to see that firsthand as it was mostly through the characters' accounts, so it would have been nice to have seen more of him in order to get of him for myself.  And there was plenty of time as the action, or lack thereof, dragged on for half the book before the murder actually happened.  

The book is rather short and the chapters are quite short as well so I actually finished this book in just one sitting, which was kind of nice as it would have dragged if there was any more to it.  I did have to question Langham's presence during the interrogations though, as he was one of the guests and really shouldn't have been present, it didn't really make sense to me and was the reason was quite shallow.  I gather it was a technique for the reader to discover more about the characters, but it was a rather weak one and left a negative feeling inside me that just wouldn't go away.  I know he was a private detective, but he was also a guest and could have been a murderer.  If anyone has read Agatha Christie, you know anything is possible.  Now wouldn't that have been fun!! And far more interesting.

Murder Takes a Turn was a fun, easy read, but it was also quite predictable.  It was very slow in its pace, but you couldn't help but like the characters as they were quite diverse and rather interesting. There were a couple I would have liked to have spent more time with too.  You don't have to have read the previous entries to understand this book so I do recommend it to anyone who likes easy to read cozy mysteries.  You can always go back and read the others later. 


  1. Great review. Looks like a good one. Just because it's familiar doesn't mean it can't be a great read.

    sherry @ fundinmental